The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs have arrived, and there is no shortage of storylines and big matchups.
After having the best regular season in NHL history, the Boston Bruins will now attempt to replicate that success in the postseason with the hopes of claiming their first title since 2011. In their way to kick things off will be the Florida Panthers.
On the other side of the Atlantic Division bracket is a rematch of 2022, as the Toronto Maple Leafs look to finally get out of the first round by getting revenge over the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Which teams will advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
As for the Metropolitan Division, the Carolina Hurricanes will take on the New York Islanders in a defensive showdown. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers will reignite their rivalry with a first-round matchup.
In the Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights are the top seed after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2022. They will meet the Winnipeg Jets in the first round. Also in the Pacific Division, the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings will meet in another 2022 rematch.
Finally, in the Central Division, the defending champion Colorado Avalanche will begin their title defense against the Seattle Kraken as they make their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The other series will pit two Stanley Cup Playoff regulars, the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild, against one another.
Our staff here at Puck Prose got together to pick a winner in each first-round series, while also choosing a series MVP and making an outside-the-box prediction to get you primed for Round One.
It’s been an entertaining season to this point, and the postseason is expected to be just as good, if not better. Without further ado, here are our staff picks for the opening round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.